Igreja Velha Palace
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Igreja Velha Palace: the metallic granary of the 21st Century

Photography by © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Built in 1881 in Vermoim, the Palácio da Igreja Velha was for decades the residence of a significant rural estate, featuring a Baroque style with two castle-like towers and a neo-Gothic chapel dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi.


The intervention by Visioarq enhanced the ensemble through the restoration of its volumetric and spatial aspects, repairing degraded structural elements, and addressing the asymmetries created throughout its history. The newly built event space was also successfully achieved. This new volume emerges embraced by the adjoining elements of the old structure, respecting alignments, reinforcing the pedestrian axis that traverses the centre of the palace, and culminating in a projecting console volume, which serves as the reception for visitors.

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The interplay between old and new was asserted through a blend of local and contemporary materials with original construction techniques, maintaining a chromatic and volumetric harmony within the landscape. Corten steel, granite, wood, and concrete bring to life the concept inspired by the ancient granaries of the region. The connection between interior and exterior was emphasized through large glass panels, without compromising the energy efficiency of the building. It’s within this context that the wooden slats were introduced – reminiscent of the traditional regional granaries – as well as the asymmetric canopy spanning two planes, which marks the entrance of the event building, in a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.


In the exterior landscaping, the existing variety of vegetation was capitalized upon, delineating pathways and plazas with granite stone, showcasing a contemplative approach to the surrounding landscape.

The project won the Architizer A+Awards in 2017, in the category Popular Winner Architecture + Metal, as well as the Januário Godinho Award in 2018.
It was also nominated for the WAN Awards, Metal | Shortlist in 2015.